Scam Alert: Payroll Scam

A new scam targets your direct deposit info and sends your paycheck to a criminal’s account. Please be aware of a scam that has been increasing in regularity, targeting municipal, state and school employees. While seeming to spread from the Midwest at the end of 2018, Upper Freehold (Monmouth County) reported an incident earlier this month.

The payroll scam has several variations, all of which ultimately result in the victims’ direct deposit being re-routed to a fraudulent bank account or a “GoBank” Green-Dot account. In some instances, the victimized employee responded to an e-mail they perceived to be legitimate, requesting that they log in to their payroll account and redirecting them to a spoofed link. Once the employee enters their log-in credentials, the suspect obtains these credentials and uses them to access the victim’s account through the actual payroll site. The suspect then changes the victim’s account information and then has the paychecks deposited into a fraudulent account set up by the suspect. In other instances, HR departments have responded to requests sent through emails purporting to be legitimate employee emails (but coming from a different domain, ex: johnsmith@yahoo), and then changing the direct deposit information at the “employee’s” request.

To protect yourself from being victimized:

  • DO NOT respond to any emails requesting that you log in to your payroll system to update information without first verifying the email/request is legitimate through Human Resources.
  • DO NOT click on any links sent through an email. Only access your payroll system log-in the way that you always do, either through a bookmarked link or the website address you normally enter.
  • Pay attention to any misspelled words, odd phrases and poor grammar contained in emails. It appears that most of these scams are originating in South America and other foreign countries, and although the grammar used in the suspects’ emails indicates that they have an understanding of the English language, sentences tend to be worded differently.

For any Human Resources and/or Payroll Department employees, please verify any changes requested via email by reaching out to the employee directly. Also, remember to pay attention to the email domain and make sure it is consistent with the email address on file for that employee.

Content shared from: Old Bridge Police Department